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Bluesky funding approved under FCC reimbursement program

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The U.S Federal Communications Communication (FCC) has approved locally based, AST Telecom LLC, d/b/a Bluesky Communications application’s for reimbursement submitted in the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program.

Bluesky is among the service provides thrat applied and got approval with funding made available to support the providers of advanced communications services as they remove potential national security vulnerabilities from their systems, according to FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau national notice.

FCC data - included in the July 18 notice shows that the “approved cost estimate” for Bluesky is more than $49.9 million, while more than $19.75 million is the “approve prorated allocation”.

The FCC, under federal law, established the Reimbursement Program to reimburse providers of advanced communications services with ten million or fewer customers for reasonable costs incurred in the removal, replacement, and disposal of covered communications equipment or services from their networks that pose a national security risk.

In the 2021 Supply Chain Order, the FCC clarified that, for purposes of the Reimbursement Program, covered communications equipment or services is limited to the communications equipment or services produced or provided by Huawei Technologies Company (Huawei) or ZTE Corporation (ZTE) that were obtained by providers on or before June 30, 2020.

And it was in June of 2020 that the FCC formally designated Huawei and ZTE as well as their parents, affiliates, and subsidiaries - as covered companies for purposes of the agency’s November 2019 ban on the use of universal service support to purchase equipment or services from companies posing a national security threat.

As a result of this designation, money from the FCC’s $8.3 billion a year Universal Service Fund may no longer be used to purchase, obtain, maintain, improve, modify, or otherwise support any equipment or services produced or provided by these suppliers.

Huawei and ZTE, according to the FCC’s 2019 decision have substantial ties to the Chinese government.

Samoa News notes that Bluesky gets funds from the Universal Service Fund.